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New teen clinic opens in Northshore

teen clinic by Deborah Stone
A new teen health care clinic has recently opened within the Northshore Public Health Center in Bothell, located off 145th St. and the Juanita-Woodinville Rd. Services are low-cost or free and include birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, and sexually transmitted disease care.
   Teens can visit the clinic without appointment on Walk-in Wednesdays, from 3-6:30 p.m., as well as during the normal hours of the center.
   According to Linda St. Clair, coordinator of Health Services for Adolescents at the Center, this is the ninth teen clinic that has been opened under the Seattle King County Dept. of Public Health. "We know that teens are often reluctant to access health care for themselves and that it is important to provide easy access to these services," St. Clair said.
   The clinic's environment is teen-friendly with appealing pictures on the wall and snacks and music in the waiting area. Teens can bring their friends for support and companionship if they wish.
   Service providers available include a public health nurse, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, and health educator, all of whom have been trained to work with adolescents. The staff is also developing linkages with other providers to offer resources and referrals for services that are unavailable at the clinic.
   "The response was slow initially, but we are now beginning to see the results of word-of-mouth," St. Clair said. "Teens are finding out about us and starting to appear on the Walk-in Wednesdays. We have been talking with high school counselors and nurses and putting flyers out at places where kids like to hang out to make them aware of our services."
   For more information about the clinic, call 296-9814.